No rest for the Blues, the Chiefs are up next

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Lynn McConnell     03 Apr 2016     Getty Images

That's the nature of Investec Super Rugby as the Blues now face the rampant Chiefs who two hours after the Blues win dissembled the Brumbies 48-23 in Canberra.


The win was only the second for the Blues this year and Friday's clash will be the toughest outing for the side so far.

Umaga was pleased with the manner of the win against a combative Argentinian side.

"We've shown that we have a lot of heart in our group and they know how to hang in there in games but it would be good if we didn't have to go through the rigmarole of giving away penalties and getting stuck in our quarter for so long.

"That's a learning process for us but again probably in past games we would have given away a lot more points than we did. Our defence is something we have been working on hard. We knew the Argentinian side would come to play, they chance their arm, they don't hold back and I thought we handled that well.

"Obviously they left some guys behind but we have to play the guys that front up and I thought our guys did that well."

It was a case of turning the Jaguares around on defence to increase their frustration because that was what good sides did. The Blues still had plenty to learn but they could take a lot of heart out of the win, he said.

Umaga noted it had been 18 minutes into the game before the side got their first touch of the ball and that was a long time to be defending.

"That takes a lot of fuel out of you and you saw someone like Charlie Faumuina who usually lasts a lot longer but we were asking him to run a lot without the ball on defence and that's what it does to you. But our boys who came on after that and the way they took it to them…a lot had been said about our scrum and they wanted to prove something there and I thought they did," he said.

"After the week off there was a lot said among the leaders about stepping up and making and showing in actions because we've talked a lot now it's just putting those words into play out on the field. Obviously we didn't have Jerome and those leaders took it upon themselves, James Parsons, Charlie Faumuina, Josh Bekhuis, these guys really stepped up and Rene Ranger didn't do too bad. He wants to prove things and he really did and Ihaia West too," he said.

West's stunning burst of speed to score on half-time had been special and Umaga said it was about getting the confidence to unleash that sort of play within the structures that have been put in place.

"That's in us, it's just about us having confidence and backing ourselves as well as our team-mates and backing each other up once something happens.

"We've had a lot of great effort individually but we're trying to put that together collectively and hopefully we're on the upward trend now but we've got to get back to the drawing board again because we've got a short turnaround before we play a very good Chiefs side that is performing very well at the moment," he said.

Umaga was also pleased with the way Piers Francis had fitted into the side.

"Obviously I know Piers and what he can do. He's a workhorse, he's diligent, he's very vocal which is something we're looking for just to give us some balance out there and to give Ihaia a hand in terms of organising and running the game. I thought he did that well but also he's a very tough Englishman and he's a worker defensively and doesn't mind getting in there among the tough stuff. I thought he did well until he got a bit of a bang," he said.

A knee injury suffered by prop Nic Mayhew would be assessed and the worst case scenario was that he could be out for a while, but Umaga said he was walking around on it after the game. He was more concerned about the nature of the tackle that caused it and would be checking on the legality of the method.